How do I find the time? I don’t even know. As a stay-at-home mom involved in two school systems, I also give my time to support those schools. My kids are only two and four. Yet, I find myself surprised about the importance of giving them the best education at such a young age. I’m already saving for college, but I have learned about how early childhood education is so important to a child’s future. My boys began their education experience in a private Montessori school and complete their early childhood education at the local public school down the road.
I help out any way I can by speaking with school leaders, volunteering in the classroom, and attending Parent-Teacher Association meetings. I’ve baked gingerbread men to teach the classroom about my son’s french heritage; coordinated parents to give to the annual fundraiser and gifts to the teachers; chaperoned field trips; bought supplies for the classroom; and, at my church, I’ve been a team leader for summer camp and Sunday school.
I’m fortunate to have the time to be home with my children, but the little time that I do have to myself I am either busy studying to get my masters or doing endless housework. I also try to squeeze in some time for exercise. When you know that something is a priority, you make the time. The time I squeeze my volunteer work into my busy life is important. My kids need to see me there. They want to see me there (thank God). I hope one day it inspires them to civic engagement, like my Dad did for me as President of his rotary club and the public school I attended. Truly, that’s where my journey of calling myself a philanthropist began!
Are you able to find the time? What if we stopped saying, “I don’t have the time” and just do it. Think less about it and just say, “Yes!” I know we have to say no to some things, but I also know there are some things I just have to squeeze in. I enjoy seeing the difference it makes for the school, the teachers, the other children, and (last but not least) my own children. I keep saying it, but it really is my honor and my privilege to be a part of my community and give back.
All these little ways I am involved are really just little short demands on my time, but the impact makes a big difference in me, my family, and my community. It maybe amounts to an hour a month. That’s it! And yet, the benefits are priceless. I’m really proud of myself for giving back to others. And, I get to see the faces of my smiling kids more. Nothing makes me smile more than seeing my children smile. How lucky am I to be able to volunteer? Denzel Washington was right, giving is selfish!
How can you find the time?